Whistleblower Policy

What is this topic about:

Bunnings is committed to the highest standards of conduct and ethical behaviour in all of our business activities and to promoting and supporting a culture of honest and ethical behaviour, corporate compliance and good corporate governance.

Bunnings encourages the reporting of any instances of suspected unethical, illegal, fraudulent or undesirable conduct involving Bunnings. Bunnings provides protections and measures so that those persons who make a report may do so confidentially and without fear of intimidation, disadvantage or reprisal.

This policy is available on the Bunnings intranet and internet pages. 

 

Who is covered by this policy?

This policy applies to protected disclosures made by:

  • officer, employee, former employee or contractor of Bunnings;
  • an individual who supplies goods or services to Bunnings;
  • an employee of a person or entity who supplies goods or services to Bunnings (whether paid or unpaid);
  • an individual who is an associate of Bunnings (meaning a director or secretary of Bunnings or of its related bodies corporate, or a person acting in concert with Bunnings); and
  • a relative or dependant of any of the persons listed above.
 

What is "Reportable Conduct"?

You may make a report under this policy if you objectively have reasonable grounds to suspect that a Bunnings director, officer, team member, contractor, supplier, tenderer or other person who has business dealings with Bunnings has engaged in conduct ("Reportable Conduct") which:

  • is dishonest, fraudulent or corrupt, including bribery or other activity in breach of the Wesfarmers Anti-bribery Policy;
  • is illegal activity (such as theft, violence, harassment or intimidation, criminal damage to property or other breaches of state or federal law);
  • is unethical or in breach of Bunnings’ policies (such as dishonestly altering company records or data, adopting questionable accounting practices or wilfully breaching Wesfarmers’ Code of Conduct or Bunnings’ other policies or procedures);
  • is potentially damaging to Bunnings, a Bunnings team member or a third party, such as unsafe work practices, environmental damage, health risks or abuse of Bunnings' property or resources;
  • amounts to an abuse of authority;
  • may cause financial loss to Bunnings or damage its reputation or be otherwise detrimental to Bunnings’ interests; or
  • involves any other kind of misconduct or an improper state of affairs or circumstances.
 

What is NOT Reportable Conduct?

This policy is not intended to apply to disclosures relating to conduct concerning a person’s individual employment or former employment (other than as set out in Reportable Conduct), such as:

  • an interpersonal conflict at work;
  • a decision relating to engagement, transfer or promotion;
  • a decision relating to terms and conditions of engagement; or
  • a decision to suspend or terminate the engagement or to discipline the person.

These matters will not be deemed to be Reportable Conduct, do not fall within the scope of this policy, and will typically be investigated or addressed separately under Bunnings’ Respectful Workplaces Policy.

 

Who can I make a report to?

To Speak Up (Independent third-party) 

A report may be made via the Bunnings Speak Up Service: a free external hotline and reporting service independently monitored by Deloitte.

Speak Up reporting options are:

by phone: 1800 176 386

by email: SpeakUp@deloitte.com.au

web-based access: www.SpeakUp.deloitte.com.au

by post: Speak Up
              Reply Paid 12628
              A'Beckett Street
              Melbourne VIC 8006

 

To a Protected Disclosure Officer

In order to ensure appropriate escalation if a disclosure is made internally, and timely investigation, we request that reports are made to any one of our Protected Disclosure Officers, listed below:

Michael Schneider               Phone: +61 3 8831 9670

Managing Director

 

Jacqui Coombes                  Phone: +64 9 978 2242
Director HR & NZ

 

Justin Williams                   Phone: +61 8 9365 1706
Chief Financial Officer

 

By post

Reports may also be posted to c/- Locked Bag 3004, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122 (marked Private & Confidential and to the attention of one of the Protected Disclosure Officers).

In order to qualify for protection, the disclosure must be made to one of the recipients outlined above, or any other recipient prescribed by law, such as an “officer” or “senior manager” of the company (includes a director, or a senior manager in the company who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the business of the company, or who has the capacity to affect significantly the company’s financial standing), the relevant regulator or Bunning's auditor.

 

 

Bunnings' investigation of Reportable Conduct

 

Bunnings will investigate all Reportable Conduct reported under this policy as soon as practicable after the matter has been reported. Speak Up, or a Protected Disclosure Officer may, with your consent, appoint a person to assist in the investigation of a report. Where appropriate, Bunnings will provide feedback to you regarding the investigation’s progress and/or outcome (subject to considerations of the privacy of those against whom allegations are made). 

The investigation will be conducted in an objective and fair manner, and otherwise as is reasonable and appropriate having regard to the nature of the Reportable Conduct and the circumstances.

While the particular investigation process and enquiries adopted will be determined by the nature and substance of the report, in general, as soon as practicable upon receipt of the report, if the report is not anonymous, a Protected Disclosure Officer or delegate will contact you to discuss the investigation process, including who may be contacted and such other matters as are relevant to the investigation.

Where a report is submitted anonymously, Bunnings will conduct the investigation and its enquiries based on the information provided to it.

 

 

Protection of Whistleblowers

 

Bunnings is committed to ensuring confidentiality in respect of all matters raised under this policy, and that those who make a report are treated fairly and do not suffer detriment.

 

(a) Protection against detrimental conduct

Detrimental treatment includes dismissal, demotion, harassment, discrimination, disciplinary action, bias, threats or other unfavourable treatment connected with making a report.

If you are subjected to detrimental treatment as a result of making a report under this policy you should:

  • inform a Protected Disclosure Officer, officer or senior manager of Bunnings immediately; or
  • raise it in accordance with this policy.

(b) Protection of your identity and confidentiality

Subject to compliance with legal requirements, upon receiving a report under this policy, Bunnings will only share your identity as a whistleblower or information likely to reveal your identity if:

  • you consent;
  • the concern is reported to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ("ASIC"), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority ("APRA"), the Tax Commissioner or the Australian Federal Police ("AFP"); or
  • the concern is raised with a lawyer for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or representation

If Bunnings needs to investigate a report, it may disclose information that could lead to your identification, but it will take reasonable steps to reduce this risk.

Any disclosures of your identity or information likely to reveal your identity will only be made to an employee, advisor or contractor of Bunnings Group Limited, Bunnings Limited, or Wesfarmers Limited, who reasonably has a need to investigate, report on, or respond to, the matters raised in your disclosure. 

(c) Protection of files and records

All files and records created from an investigation will be retained securely.

Unauthorised release of information to someone not involved in the investigation (other than senior managers or directors who need to know to take appropriate action, or for corporate governance purposes) without your consent as a whistleblower will be a breach of this policy.

Whistleblowers are assured that a release of information in breach of this policy will be regarded as a serious matter and will be dealt with under Bunnings’ disciplinary procedures.

 

The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (“Corporations Act”) gives special protection to disclosures about breaches of that Act, provided certain conditions are met – refer to Annexure A for further details.

 

The Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) ("Taxation Administration Act") also gives special protection to disclosures about breaches of any Australian tax law, provided certain conditions are met – refer to Annexure B for further details.

 

Duties of team members in relation to Reportable Conduct

It is expected that Bunnings’ team members who become aware of actual or suspect on reasonable grounds, potential cases of Reportable Conduct, will make a report under this policy or under other applicable policies.

 

Reporting procedures

Protected Disclosure Officers will report to the Bunnings and Wesfarmers boards on the number and type of whistleblower incident reports annually, to enable Wesfarmers to address any issues at a divisional/business unit and/or Group level.  These reports will be made on a ‘no names’ basis, maintaining the confidentiality of matters raised under this policy.

 

The Wesfarmers Audit and Risk Committee will receive copies of all Bunnings whistleblower reports, and whistleblower reports from Protected Disclosure Officers (as appropriate). In addition, serious and/or material Reportable Conduct will be considered by the Protected Disclosure Officers for immediate referral to the Chairman of the Wesfarmers Audit and Risk Committee.

 

Operation and Amendment of this policy

This policy:

  • operates in addition to the Wesfarmers Whistleblower Policy and, in the event of any inconsistency with the Wesfarmers Whistleblower policy, the Wesfarmers Whistleblower policy will prevail to the extent of the inconsistency;
  • cannot be amended without approval of the Bunnings Board. It will be reviewed from time to time to ensure that it remains effective and meets best practice standards and the needs of Bunnings.

LAST AMENDED 15 August 2019

 

Annexure A - Special protections under the Corporations Act

The Corporations Act gives special protection to disclosures about any misconduct or improper state of affairs relating to Bunnings if the following conditions are satisfied:

1. the whistleblower is or has been:

  1. an officer or employee of Bunnings;
  2. an individual who supplies goods or services to Bunnings or an employee of a person who supplies goods or services to Bunnings;
  3. an individual who is an associate of Bunnings; or
  4. a relative, dependent or dependent of the spouse of any individual referred to at (a) to (c) above;

2. the report is made to:

  1. an independent third-party, which Bunnings has approved for the purpose of receiving a report — in this case, Speak Up;
  2. a Protected Disclosure Officer;
  3. an officer or senior manager of Bunnings;
  4. Bunnings' external auditor (or a member of that audit team);
  5. an actuary of Bunnings;
  6. ASIC;
  7. APRA; or
  8. a legal practitioner for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or legal representation in relation to the operation of the whistleblower provisions in the Corporations Act; and

3. the whistleblower has reasonable grounds to suspect that the information being disclosed concerns misconduct, or an improper state of affairs or circumstances in relation to Bunnings. This may include a breach of legislation, including the Corporations Act, an offence against the Commonwealth punishable by imprisonment for 12 months or more, or conduct that represents a danger to the public or financial system.

Examples of conduct which may amount to a breach of the Corporations Act include: insider trading, insolvent trading, breach of the continuous disclosure rules, failure to keep accurate financial records, falsification of accounts, failure of a director or other officer of Bunnings to act with the care and diligence that a reasonable person would exercise, or to act in good faith in the best interests of the corporation or failure of a director to give notice of any material personal interest in a matter relating to the affairs of the company.

The protections given by the Corporations Act when these conditions are met are:

1. the whistleblower is immune from any civil, criminal or administrative legal action (including disciplinary action) for making the disclosure.  However, the discloser can still be pursued for having made a false disclosure and in connection with the discloser's own conduct which is revealed by the matters highlighted in the disclosed information (i.e. the discloser's own conduct in the misconduct, improper affairs or other circumstances which are revealed by the protected disclosure);

2. no contractual or other remedies may be enforced, and no contractual or other right may be exercised, against the whistleblower for making the report;

3. in some circumstances, the reported information is not admissible against the whistleblower in criminal proceedings or in proceedings for the imposition of a penalty;

4. anyone who causes or threatens to cause detriment to a whistleblower or another person in the belief or suspicion that a report has been made, or may have been made, proposes to or could be made, may be guilty of an offence and may be liable for damages;

5. a whistleblower's identity cannot be disclosed to a court or tribunal except where considered necessary; and

6. the person receiving the report commits an offence if they disclose the substance of the report or the whistleblower’s identity, without the whistleblower’s consent, to anyone except ASIC, APRA, the AFP or a legal practitioner for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or representation in relation to the report.

 

Confidentiality

If a report is made, the identity of the discloser must be kept confidential unless one of the following exceptions applies:

a) the discloser consents to the disclosure of their identity;

b) for the purpose of investigating a matter to which a disclosure relates to, Bunnings has taken reasonable steps to reduce the risk that the discloser will be identified as a result of the disclosure;

c) the concern is reported to ASIC, APRA, or the AFP; or

d) the concern is raised with a legal practitioner for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or representation.

 

Annexure B - Special Protections under the Taxation Administration Act

The Taxation Administration Act gives special protection to disclosures about a breach of any Australian tax law by Bunnings, or misconduct in relation to Bunnings’ tax affairs, if the following conditions are satisfied:

1. the whistleblower is or has been:

  1. an officer or employee of Bunnings;
  2. an individual who supplies goods or services to Bunnings or an employee of a person who supplies goods or services to Bunnings;
  3. an individual who is an associate of Bunnings; or
  4. a relative, dependent or dependent of the spouse of any individual referred to at (a) to (c) above;

2. the report is made to:

  1. an independent third-party, which Bunnings has approved for the purpose of receiving a report — in this case, Speak Up;
  2. a Protected Disclosure Officer; 
  3. a director, secretary or senior manager of Bunnings; 
  4. Bunnings’ external auditor (or a member of that audit team);
  5. a registered tax agent or BAS agent who provides tax or BAS services to Bunnings;
  6.  any other employee or officer of Bunnings who has functions or duties relating to tax affairs of the company (e.g. an internal accountant); 

    ("Bunnings recipients")

  7. the Commissioner of Taxation; or
  8. a legal practitioner for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or legal representation in relation to the operation of the whistleblower provisions in the Taxation Administration Act;  

3. if the report is made to a Bunnings recipient, the whistleblower: 

  1. has reasonable grounds to suspect that the information indicates misconduct, or an improper state of affairs or circumstances, in relation to the tax affairs of Bunnings or an associate of Bunnings; and
  2. considers that the information may assist the Bunnings recipient to perform functions or duties in relation to the tax affairs of Bunnings or an associate of the company; and

4. if the report is made to the Commissioner of Taxation, the whistleblower considers that the information may assist the Bunnings recipient to perform functions or duties in relation to the tax affairs of Bunnings or an associate of Bunnings.

The protections given by the Taxation Administration Act when these conditions are met are: 

1. the whistleblower is immune from any civil, criminal or administrative legal action (including disciplinary action) for making the disclosure.  However, the discloser can still be pursued for having made a false disclosure and in connection with the discloser's own conduct which is revealed by the matters highlighted in the disclosed information (i.e. the discloser's own conduct in the misconduct, improper affairs or other circumstances which are revealed by the protected disclosure);

2. no contractual or other remedies may be enforced, and no contractual or other right may be exercised, against the whistleblower for making the report; 

3.where the disclosure was made to the Commissioner of Taxation, the reported information is not admissible against the whistleblower in criminal proceedings or in proceedings for the imposition of a penalty, except where the proceedings are concerned with whether the information is false; 

4. unless the whistleblower has acted unreasonably, a whistleblower cannot be ordered to pay costs in any legal proceedings in relation to a report;

5. anyone who causes or threatens to cause detriment to a whistleblower or another person in the belief or suspicion that a report has been made, or may have been made, proposes to or could be made, may be guilty of an offence and liable to pay damages;

6. a whistleblower's identity cannot be disclosed to a Court or tribunal except where considered necessary; and

7. the person receiving the report commits an offence if they disclose the substance of the report or the whistleblower’s identity, without the whistleblower’s consent, to anyone except the Commissioner of Taxation, the AFP or a lawyer for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or representation in relation to the report.

 

Confidentiality

If a report is made, the identity of the discloser will be kept confidential unless one of the following exceptions applies:

a) the discloser consents to the disclosure of their identity;

b) for the purpose of investigating a matter to which a disclosure relates to, Bunnings has taken reasonable steps to reduce the risk that the discloser will be identified as a result of the disclosure;

c) the concern is reported to the Commissioner of Taxation or the AFP; or

d) the concern is raised with a legal practitioner for the purpose obtaining legal advice or representation. 

 

 

Privacy Policy

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
Top of the content
Top of the content